UK Covid LIVE: Nightclub industry backlash at passport plan as Americans urged not to travel to UK - Evening Standard

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he Government has “wiped out live gigs for an entire generation”, critics of a plan to introduce Covid passports to enter nightclubs from the end of Septemeber have said.

Boris Johnson on Monday night announced the plans to enforce vaccines as a condition of entry to crowded places including night clubs.

Sacha Lord, night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, said: “Does this now mean young people, who have already suffered hugely during this pandemic, now won’t be able to experience the thrill of seeing their favourite artist on stage? With this one move, the Government appears to have wiped out live gigs for a whole generation.”

It comes as the US State Department and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both issued on Monday their highest warnings against travel to the United Kingdom because of a rising number of Covid cases.

Each raised the UK to Level Four, telling Americans they should avoid travel there. In May, the US government had lowered the UK to a Level 3 advisory rating.

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Covid certification could have a role to play when combined with testing, says McFadden

Labour's shadow economic secretary said Covid certification could have a role to play when combined with testing.

Pat McFadden told Sky News: "We will have to look at this proposal as it comes out because what strikes me most of all over the last 24 hours is the panic and confusion that this shows on the part of the Government."

He said: "I think it could have a role to play if combined with testing, but vaccine passports are not enough on their own when only two-thirds of the population have had a double vaccine. So we've still got about a third of the population who haven't had that.

"They'll also be a proportion of the population who for some medical reason maybe can't have the vaccination. So vaccination on its own can't just be the whole answer, it's got to be something which runs alongside testing."


NHS Covid App: ‘Clearer guidance’ needed, says Prof Montgomery

Professor Sir Jonathan Montgomery said the Government needed to give "clearer guidance" to people about whether or not to self-isolate if pinged by the NHS app.

"When we had no protection the risk was the same for everybody. If that risk is now reduced because someone is double vaccinated it feels as though we need more sophisticated advice," Sir Jonathan said.

"If we are visiting an elderly relative or a cancer patient then take the ping seriously but, if you are doing something relatively Covid-friendly then maybe make a different decision.

"The Government needs to do more to help us make better decisions."


Will Spain be added to the Government’s amber list?

Asked whether Spain was going to be added to the amber watchlist of travel restrictions, business minister Paul Scully said the decisions were “taken at Cabinet level”.

He told Sky News: “They’ll look at the data, and they’ll make sure that they can work out what is best to make sure that we keep transmission of the virus low, we keep the transmission of the variants low, because it’s the variants that are really key here to work out how they’re interacting with our vaccine programme.”


Vaccine passports are ‘completely unnecessary’ says Lord Sumption

Former Supreme Court justice Lord Sumption said that vaccine passports were now “completely unnecessary”.

He said: “Getting vaccinated is a choice that people have. I don’t think one should compel them to do it but I think, like most choices in life, you have to accept that they have ups and downs in the way of consequences.

“I don’t think vaccine passports imposed by the state are a good idea now.

“Earlier this year when fewer people had been vaccinated I thought that there was something to be said for allowing those who had been to prove the fact and return to normal life.

“But at the moment, with 70 per cent having had both jabs, including all vulnerable groups, I think it is completely unnecessary.”


Being ‘pinged’ by the NHS Covid app would ‘allow you to make informed decisions’ says Scully

Paul Scully has said that being 'pinged' by the Covid app would "allow you to make informed decisions" but self-isolating was "up to individuals and employers".

The business minister told Times Radio: "Well, I think the exemption is being extended beyond the NHS to critical workers. So critical infrastructure and these kind of things.

"We've seen the Metropolitan line in London close, for example, because of a handful of really crucial signal workers having to self-isolate. So it's those kind of things that we're extending to.

"It's important to understand the rules. You have to legally isolate if you are on the... contacted by Test and Trace, or if you're trying to claim isolation payments.

"The app is there to give... to allow you to make informed decisions. And I think by backing out of mandating a lot of things, we're encouraging people to really get the data in their own hands to be able to make decisions on what's best for them, whether they're employer or an employee."


EasyJet expected to fly up to around 60 per cent of its pre-pandemic flight programme

EasyJet has said it expects to fly up to around 60 per cent of its pre-pandemic flight programme over the summer quarter, up from 17per cent in the previous three months, thanks to easing travel restrictions.

It said the reopening of travel in continental Europe and easing of restrictions for the fully vaccinated in the UK would drive a marked rebound in demand in its fourth quarter to September 30.

The carrier said it was boosting flights to 74 countries on the so-called amber list - such as Spain, Greece, Portugal, and Cyprus - after the Government announced on July 8 that fully vaccinated passengers would be able to fly back from these countries without quarantine.

EasyJet's trading update for the three months to June 30 showed it narrowed headline pre-tax losses by 8.2 per cent to £318.3 million, which was in line with its expectations, as cost-cutting helped limit the ongoing hit from the pandemic.


‘Crowded pubs’ to not be included in Covid-19 certification plans, says Scully

Business minister Paul Scully told Sky News that "crowded pubs" would not be included in plans to use Covid-19 certification.

He said nightclubs and "larger ticketed events" would be affected and he said "there are a number of sporting venues that are already looking at voluntarily doing this".

He said: "We want to stop the NHS being overwhelmed by cases throughout the winter."


Use of Covid passports for nightclubs not being introduced straight away, says business minister

Business minister Paul Scully said the use of Covid passports for nightclubs was not being introduced straight away in order to get the “detail” right.

He told Sky News: “We need to look at the detail behind it.”

And he added: “It’s got to get through parliamentary scrutiny, so we’ve got to get it absolutely right, we’ve got to work with the sectors that are going to be affected, to make sure that we can define this really carefully.

“All we’re doing right now is giving an advanced warning of what is coming down the line.”

He denied the scheme was a bribe to young people to get their coronavirus vaccinations.


Australia’s Victoria extends COVID-19 lockdown by seven days

Australia’s Victoria state extended its COVID-19 lockdown by seven days until July 27 as officials sought more time to quell an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant that has now reached more than 80 cases in a week.

A five-day snap lockdown was imposed in Victoria last week, restricting the state’s near seven million residents to their homes after a growing number of new infections were traced back to large gatherings, including a rugby match between Australia and France.

The tough curbs had been due to end midnight on Tuesday.


Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 1,183

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1,183 to 3,746,410, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday.

The reported death toll rose by 34 to 91,397, the tally showed.

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